Raw duck heads are meaty bones that are not only tasty and crunchy but carry high nutritional value for dogs. They are soft bones, meaning they are safe and don’t splinter easily.
You can feed your pup raw duck heads twice a week with meals or as a snack. Duck heads can be bought online or through stores like Vital Essentials.
Raw Duck Heads For Dogs
A complete raw diet for dogs is a balanced mix of muscle meat, organ meat, meaty bones, and plants. Out of the 4, most dog owners only face trouble with finding the right meaty bones and figuring out how to feed them.
Thankfully, some raw meaty bones like duck heads are safer and more nutritious than others and make for an easy pick.
Are Duck Heads Good For Dogs?
Yes, duck heads are good for dogs. Introducing bone to your dog’s raw diet can be quite nerve-wracking initially. After all, all bones come with some degree of choking hazard, and they do not look quite icky (especially duck heads).
But when you only feed your dog a raw diet constituting of ground meat, your pup misses out on a lot of essential nutrients and benefits only bones can provide.
Besides not having to rely solely on grinds for your raw diet which requires more time to prepare, feeding your pup raw meaty bones like duck heads allow them to chew and chomp constantly. This provides good mental stimulation for dogs and helps feed their hunting instincts.
More importantly, raw meaty bones help maintain good dental hygiene among dogs. This is a popular reason why pet owners love buying duck heads for dogs as treats- they are essentially the most natural method of brushing a dog’s teeth.
On top of all this, raw meaty bones contain several vital nutrients for your pup as well. Bones have an abundance of calcium and phosphorus that contribute to your dog’s bone health as well.
Keep in mind that vets strictly advise you to never cook the bones before giving them to your dogs. You should never boil duck heads for dogs. Boiled bones splinter easily and can cause serious damage to your dog’s throat, stomach, jaws, and intestine if any shards are ingested.
Raw duck heads are Raw Meaty Bones? (RMBs)
Raw duck heads are one of the best raw meaty bones you can add to your dog’s diet. Duck heads are softer and do not splinter easily, so they pose a minimum choking hazard.
They come dried and dehydrated, making them crunchy. Dried duck heads for dogs provide a great jaw exercise. Plus, if your dog tends to bite, giving him duck heads will help limit the behavior.
Another great thing about raw duck heads for dogs is that they come with the eyes and brains inside. Both these are secreting organs. Organ meat is important to feed in a raw diet for variety as it contains trace minerals which a complete dog diet needs.
That’s right- raw duck heads with secreting organs are rich in iron, selenium, and vitamin B. They contain a great deal of calcium, phosphorus, and essential amino acids that improve your dog’s bone and muscle health.
Duck heads for dogs consist of around 75% bone and 25% muscles. So your average 200g duck head contains about 50g of meat (including secreting organs) and 150g of bone. Because of this muscle-to-bone ratio, duck heads are quite rich in protein and fat, and contain a good amount of calcium. Duck heads also have nutritious marrow. They’re great for dogs looking to gain some weight.
And don’t worry about the ¾ bone percentage- dehydrated duck heads for dogs rarely splinter. They’re excellent at keeping your dog’s gums and teeth healthy.
Another reason why duck heads are good for dogs is that duck meat is considered a cooling protein. According to Chinese food energetics, all proteins can be differentiated into cooling, neutral, warming, or hot.
When your pup consumes only warm or hot foods, he can show some signs of a food allergy. Beef, venison, lamb, etc are considered warm proteins as they are richer in fat and can increase body heat. This can result in gastrointestinal distress too.
To avoid these problems, a complete dog diet should contain all kinds of proteins- cooling, neutral, and warm. However, you can eliminate hot or cold food from your dog’s diet if his body reacts to it by causing itching, scratching, hyperventilation, etc.
If you feed your dog warmer foods like venison, then giving him a duck head dog treat is excellent since duck is a cooling protein. It helps avoid overfeeding warming meats and creates a much-needed balance in the said diet. Duck, rabbit, fish, etc are all considered cooling.
Moreover, cooling proteins are also safe to feed when your dog has an inflammation in the body and can even aid in recovery. However, be sure to ask your vet about feeding duck heads in case your dog is sick.
A sustainable raw diet for dogs should comprise 70% meat (including lean muscle like fish), 10% secreting organs, 10% raw meaty bones, and 10% plant matter. Plant matter can include items like seeds, nuts, fruits, and veggies.
Dogs typically need to eat 2-4% of the average body weight for their breed and age in their raw diet. So for example, a 25kg dog should consume somewhere between 500g to 1kg of food every day.
Of course, the exact percentage varies based on your dog’s metabolism, activity level, and whether he’s overweight, underweight, or normal. For a normal healthy adult dog, a 2.5% raw diet is good (so 600-700g raw diet for 25kg dogs). Duck heads can easily be included in such a diet seeing as one head weights around 150-200g.
You can serve raw duck heads for dogs as part of a complete raw meal or as a snack between two meals. However, because they’re rich in fatty acids, omega-3, etc, you shouldn’t feed them regularly with meals. When giving duck heads in meals, only serve with muscle meats.
When giving raw heads as a snack, cut down on organ meats in the meals for that day. Generally, you should only give duck heads twice a week.
And don’t worry- raw meaty bones are fully edible, as long as they’re appropriate to your dog’s mouth size. Dogs have a highly acidic stomach that can easily digest raw meat, including bones like duck heads.
But to avoid potential choking hazards it’s good to feed your dog a bone that’s larger than his mouth. This is especially true for dogs who like to gulp bones without chewing them.
Duck heads are good for medium to large-sized dogs, such as the Boxer. However, the largest breeds like Great Dane can choke on it seeing as they might swallow the duck head whole.
That being said, you can train your dog to chew on bones- firmly hold one side of the duck head while your dog chews on the other each time you feed it. This technique forces your dog to chew and conditions him to do it every time.
If your dog has never had a raw duck head before and doesn’t know what to do with one, you can use the same technique mentioned above- hold one end of the head and let your dog chew the other. They will eventually learn to chew properly.
Aside from this, you can offer your dog a frozen raw head instead of a thawed one. Many pups love a frozen duck head dog treat for snacking, especially if they are very active or live in a hot climate.
Note that if your dog has any form of tooth decay or if they’ve had many of their teeth pulled out, you shouldn’t feed them duck heads as it can cause damage to the teeth and gums.
Your dog doesn’t have to miss out on the nutrition though- you can always use a bone grinder machine at home to add ground duck heads to your pup’s diet. If your dog is old and has no teeth, you can simply extract the eyes, brain, and muscle meat and feed it chopped up.
You can get raw duck heads separately or as part of a meal. Companies like Darwin’s Natural Pet offer complete raw meals with the appropriate meat-bones-organ-veggie ratio. However, these meals are generally more expensive than buying raw components yourself.
It’s best to purchase raw duck heads for dogs from popular vendors like Raw Feeding Miami or Raw Paws Pet Food. You can order these online in 5lbs bags. On average, 1lb fresh duck head can cost between $2.5-5.
As for freeze-dried duck heads, you can get them from Vital Essentials Raw Bar. They have multiple physical stores and deliver to your doorstep as well.